The wing positions are unfortunately much harder to find cheap value than point guard, power forward, and center. There just aren’t a great deal of players who contribute across the board.
When it comes to selecting a bargain buy at small forward, it’s important to exercise discernment. Let’s say your lineup lacks three-point shooting, then you may want to consider a guy like Robert Covington. Or perhaps you still need someone to get you some extra points and steals, so Thaddeus Young could be the right fit.
The key phrase in that last sentence is: the right fit. You’re not going to snag a stud small forward for cheap, but you can still find quality value that is exactly what your team needs. Here are such players to monitor.
*Only players with an average cost on Yahoo less than $10 were considered for this article.
Robert Covington, Philadelphia 76ers (Average cost on Yahoo: $2.3)
Covington’s fantasy value can be best described as goofy. His shooting percentage (39.6 percent last season) is dreadful, and he doesn’t lure in many rebounds for a man of his size (6-9). However, he should average between 2-3 three-pointers made per game, and he’s also a superb thief (1.8 steals per game per-36 minutes during 2014-15). Consider these figures from his month of February last season: 16.0 points per game, 42.1 field-goal percentage, 5.7 rebounds per game, 2.9 threes, and 2.3 steals. That’s just silly unique production. Come March, his numbers dipped quite a bit, but it’s nonetheless evident that Covington can at least be worth having for his threes and steals. And he will occasionally delight you with contributions elsewhere. He’s worth nabbing for a low price, particularly if you’re willing to punt field-goal percentage.
Thaddeus Young, Brooklyn Nets (Average cost on Yahoo: $2.9)
Young has had value for years now, and it looks like this will continue during 2015-16 as he has a firm grasp on the starting power forward slot (he’s fantasy eligible at SF and PF). At the minimum, Young should provide 12-14 points and 5-7boards. Plus, he’s always been a great source of steals. He’s at a stage in his career where it’s tough to envision him exploding beyond his usual contributions, but he should still be an asset in your lineup and should be an inexpensive addition. He’s a safe investment because you know what you’re getting. But don’t expect him to be this year’s biggest bargain.
Chandler Parsons, Dallas Mavericks (Average cost on Yahoo: $8.2)
Even though Parsons had minor offseason surgery, it’s still quite likely that his value will leap past $10 in most leagues. And there’s good reason behind this. Parsons actually contributes across the board, specifically points, threes, steals, and a solid field-goal percentage (career 47.0-percent) for a player who shoots a lot of threes. His worth could ascend even higher this year as he embraces a heavier role for the Mavericks. There are even rumblings that he could play some point guard. At any rate, he’s due for increased responsibility, which is a huge plus. He has the potential to become a 15, 5, and five guy who also chips in threes and steals. The offseason surgery does present some risk (he hopes to be ready by the regular season opener), but if you can nab him for under $10, I’d do it in a heartbeat.
Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls (Average cost on Yahoo: $4.2)
Mirotic holds somewhat mysterious value for 2015-16 because we’re still waiting to see how he functions in new coach Fred Hoiberg’s system. What we do know is that things are looking promising. It sounds like the Bulls will play with four out and one in frequently, which bodes extremely well for Mirotic as a stretch 4 (fantasy eligible as a SF and PF). When he was given quality minutes last year, he didn’t disappoint. During the month of March, he averaged over 20 points. It’s doubtful that he averages that over a full season, but it’s certainly doable that he pours in over 15 while also adding decent rebounds, threes, steals, and blocks. Threekola definitely has a great deal of upside, both for the Bulls and your fantasy squad.
Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets (Average cost on Yahoo: $4.7)
I’ll start by cautioning you that the injury-prone label is very warranted for Gallo. But he was phenomenal after the All-Star break last season (18.8 PPG, 2.8 3PM, 1.3 SPG), and he’s entering 2015-16 healthy. It also looks as if he’ll play an integral role in Denver’s offensive approach. He’s a low-risk, high-reward candidate because of his potential elite value in threes to go along with stellar scoring and free-throw marks. If it’s late in the draft and you desperately needs threes, I don’t know if there’s anybody I’d recommend more than The Rooster.
Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets (Average cost on Yahoo: $1.2)
Chandler is another Nugget who should supply good value for cheap. Similar to Young, we have a good idea of what to expect from Chandler. He’s not going to provide an abundance of anything, but he’ll supply worth in points, threes, and rebounds. It’s somewhat of a concern that there appears to be a logjam of wing players on Denver’s roster, but Chandler should still have a steady role whether starting or coming off the bench. Don’t overpay for him, but be content to grab him if you’re almost out of money and you need need a serviceable small forward.
DeMar DeRozan ($7.5) and Arron Afflalo ($1.4)
These two players have both small forward and shooting guard eligibility. Their outlooks were highlighted in the shooting guard article. To read them, click here.
Follow Haddon on Twitter @HaddonAnderson.